Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ahhhh. Newborns.

Ok, so as you all know I was pregnant. What I guess hasn't been officially announced is that I *finally* had our sweet baby girl on 10/20/14. I was due 10/2/14. Yep. 18 days later than expected (by my provider - I expected her to come about a week and a half after my EDD). That said, I don't believe she was "late", I believe she was right on time. Those 18 days were EXTREMELY long and trying on my emotions, but I'm super glad that I know what I know about waiting for baby's timing as long as everything looks good. I had a couple NST's at the end there, and it was getting to the point that if nothing had happened I was going to need to seriously consider induction. I'm really glad I didn't have to go there.

Anyway, I promise that I will share her birth story in the near future.

Today, though, I want to focus on what it's like to have a newborn again.

Less than 24 hours old

There's several things I had forgotten about and those I haven't, but all of them have been an adjustment...

1. Baby sleeps when baby wants to. Yeah, I know this doesn't seem like it should be much of a revelation. Especially since at 42+ weeks pregnant, it's not like I was sleeping that much at night anyway, waking approximately 97 times a night to pee. But for some reason, it caught me off guard. Dumb, huh? I mean, it's normal for a newborn to sometimes not want to go to sleep until 4:30 am, right? Then to sleep all day? I totally and for real know that's normal, I just hadn't really prepared myself for it very well. Der. Don't get me wrong - most nights she sleeps awesomely - right next to me in bed, only waking to eat for awhile. There have been times, though.....there have been times......

2. Baby poops and pees a lot. Another "duh" thing, right? Well, again, for some reason I wasn't really thinking that much right when she was born and didn't change her as often as I should have. It took a few days for me to remember that I need to change her pretty much every time she wakes up or eats. I'm not sure if it was the lack of sleep from being up until 4:30 am or just baby-brain-farts where I literally just forgot what it was like to have a newborn.

3. Babies are loud. She's generally pretty chill, and overall a really easy baby. But when she gets mad she gets mad fast. There's no "working up to it", or in between. When she's not happy about something she lets you know in no uncertain terms how she feels. And she cries really loudly!

4. Umbilical Cord stumps can STINK! Holy moly, It was seriously so gross. I'm so glad it fell off quickly - for whatever reason it was nAsty. If I had still been pregnant I would likely have gagged and maybe even lost my lunch every time I held her...I was SO gaggy this pregnancy! I don't remember the other kids' stinking like that, but maybe I'm just blocking it out.

5. Giving birth makes me REALLY hungry! Good grief. You would have thought I hadn't eaten in months with the way I literally ate everything in sight the week or so after she was born. I'm so happy we were so blessed to have more than a week's worth of meals provided for us!

6. The "after pains" right after delivery really hurt! I usually don't take pain meds for things, but I broke down and did for those. As everything's moving back into place after being so stretched out, it takes time to contract back down, and every time I nursed (and sometimes even when I wasn't nursing) my uterus contracted and my ligaments got pulled and I would cramp and often had to breathe through them. It was like labor! I'm really glad they didn't last long...less than a week :)

7. Finding a nursing rhythm can be challenging. We are still working on getting really good at breastfeeding. She is eager and willing, but has a little bit of a difficult time with her latch sometimes. She's getting better at it all the time, but I have to say that I'm really glad that I know what I know about breastfeeding. I believe that I was able to avoid painful engorgement and cracked/bleeding nipples this time because of being more educated about latch and breastfeeding in general. (I had both with the other kiddos)

8. Not having Postpartum Depression or "Baby Blues" is AWESOME! I attribute this mostly to the fact that my hubby has been around MUCH more this time around...he's in the midst of switching jobs, and the timing just worked out absolutely perfectly. I believe I had PPD with my first and definitely had some "baby blues" with my 2nd. Having the support I need this time around has made all the difference.

9. Adding a 3rd child to the family is an adjustment (newborns don't really care about your schedule or the things you had planned to get done). But especially since we are homeschooling the other kids and I work from home, time management has been a challenging thing to figure out, and I'm not even close to "getting there" yet. I haven't showered in 3 days, and it's not the first time since she's been born. It's ok, though. The other kiddos are old enough to help out immensely, and like I said, my hubby is around a lot more than he used to be, so he has helped like crazy. We're getting there, slowly but surely :)

10. Babies are AMAZING. The way she snuggles with me, the way she's really not happy unless she's being held (she needs human interaction and contact), the way she looks up at me when she's nursing (she's just now starting to really "see" things and is visibly observing the world and people around her much more), the way she nuzzles me with her face when she just wants to go to sleep, the way she searches for my breast in the middle of the night, finds it, latches, and neither of us really wake up much at all, the sweet little baby sounds of contentment she makes when she's sleeping on me, the way she changes every single day. I just want to drink it all in. She's such a vision of perfectness and beauty I could just watch her every single minute of every single day. I am in awe of her, I am in awe of the way her sister and brother love and interact with her, and I am just overflowing with love for this precious little being who has blessed our family so completely already.

Earlier today, 3 1/2 weeks

First ever "for-real" smile caught on camera :)

Do you have things that took you by surprise when your newborn joined the family mix? Share them! :)


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